Sunday, May 15, 2011

Day 99 of 365 days of our life on our small family farm in the USA

Welcome to another day on our farm, today I just could not get over how blessed we are, as I watched small kittens snuggled up against their mom, planted , red, orange, white, yellow and red carrots, and harvested about 4 more cups of strawberries.  Worked on soap bags and other things, setting new fence and getting ready to move the fish pond to the front pasture and put up the pool, it might get warm a few days this summer.  We have started drying curly dock and lambs ear for the winter.  We will bee drying mint as well, some to keep and some to sell with handcrafted reusable muslin teas bags, another thing I was working on today.  Yesterday, Rachael butchered 4 chickens which after being Koshered, were cooked today.  The best way to cook them is with alot of seasoning in a oven bag for about 3 hours at 350 degrees, the meat becomes super tender and very tasty.  We also had some fresh Florida corn, a real treat. (Corn in the past has not done well here on the farm, but we are not giving up).  Checked on the bees and I have two combs full, I guess I am going to pull them and than put them back, so they can make more. Sheep are recovering from being sheared.  We are milking the goats still and hope the cow will bless us with a calf in the near future. 

Last year we caught a show out of the UK called Rebecca's garden.  The show was about a lovely women named Rebbecca who had once been a wildlife photographer, but now had returned to her family farm.  Upon being back on the farm she realized that in order for her farm to continue she would have to find a better, more earth friendly way of doing things.  When I first watched the show, I thought, wow  I can so understand what she was saying and from spending my older teenage years in the heart of Farm country in Indiana, I could really grasp a much better understanding of the whole thing and the endless damage people have done and continue to do to this planet.  I felt as through I was truly sharing in her hopes and fears as she learned that the constant tilling of soil was killing every living thing and one of the most powerful reasons for no longer doing it.  After only 20 years of tilling a farm field , there is no life in the soil, no worms, no bugs, nothing and why, in hope of producing more food.  Sadly most of the food grown on most farms looks pretty but is lacking key nutrients and by growing more food we have only become more wasteful.  Anyway back to the point; one farm she went to was so amazing, it looked sort of overgrown and such.  It was anything but, the couple had learned to grow with the weeds and with the trees and such.  They grew more food on a smaller space and will no poison, no tilling.  The gave up fighting nature and worked with her.  We started doing this on our farm last year,I heisted as I had always tried to plant in neat little areas of weed free ground, but this year the weeds are our friends, most of them we  The rest protect and nurture the soil.  The soil holds more moisture and nutrients and the plants are doing unbelievable things. Out of the tiny 7 by 2/12 foot area, I am getting nearly 4 cups of strawberry's every other day, no pesticides, no straw.  There are a few bugs and I lose at least three berries a day, but the trade off is worth it.  Each time I harvest I am more amazed than the last.  Our peas and other plants are being wild creatures, making their way to the groupings of beets, and radishes.  Potatoes poking up next to them...further down Jerusalem artichokes have pushed their way up threw the soil to great the some times sun.  The asparagus growing with in zuckines and tomatoes, cucumbers next to  to them and the onions being weedy on one side and protecting tomatoes from pests on the other side..dandelions and portage(plantain), squishing in along with animals grade weeds.  It is truly a site to see and the food we are growing is worth the change.  We plan to plant corn with pumpkins, and other crawling squash to grow on the beams that last year held our sun cloth and beans close to the corn, thank you grand parents for the lessons of conservation that we are returning to.

We are counting down the days till we pick up our meat and are looking forward to filling the freezer, now I have to defrost it this week.  That will be a joyful job, I get out the hammer and blow dryer, no frost free junk here, just good old American craftsmanship, made back when "made in America", meant it was top of the line.   The hide is safely in it's new home, in her freezer in hopes of being tanned soon, the cows feet at Mr.R's and the head after being de-brained is hanging out on a tree.  Nothing but the entrails was wasted and had I thought about it a bit more, I might have saved some of them.  I still feel all and all we did a good job.
Well my dear ones, I have eggs to wrap, emails, to answer and dreams that need dreaming...know that we love you and G-d loves you as well.  Be Blessed and try to feed just one person who is hunger and the world will be a better place...

Shekhinah, Michael and all the kids and critters on Mahanaim Farm.

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